Preview: Glasgow Warriors v Treviso

Date published: April 3 2014

Prop Geoff Cross is set to make his Glasgow Warriors debut in Friday's rescheduled clash with Treviso at Scotstoun Stadium.

Prop Geoff Cross is set to make his Glasgow Warriors debut in Friday's rescheduled clash with Treviso at Scotstoun Stadium.

Cross, who recently joined the club from Edinburgh until the end of the season as injury cover, replaces Jon Welsh at tighthead.

Peter Horne has been named among the replacements and features in a Warriors squad for the first time this season, after more than nine months out of action with an ACL injury sustained on Scotland's tour to South Africa last summer.

Peter Murchie continues at full-back, with Sean Maitland coming in for last week's try-scorer Tommy Seymour on the right wing and Niko Matawalu continuing on the left side.

After helping Scotland win the Bowl at the Hong Kong Sevens last weekend, Mark Bennett comes in for Alex Dunbar at outside centre and forms a new centre partnership with Finn Russell.

With Duncan Weir and Chris Cusiter both rested this week after featuring for Scotland during the Six Nations, Ruaridh Jackson comes in at fly-half and Henry Pyrgos has been named at scrum-half.

Gordon Reid continues at loosehead prop and Pat MacArthur keeps his place at hooker, alongside Cross in the front row.

Tim Swinson and captain Al Kellock both return from injury to line up in the second-row.

Rob Harley continues at blindside, Tyrone Holmes replaces Chris Fusaro at openside and Ryan Wilson comes in for Josh Strauss at number eight.

Kevin Bryce could make his second appearance for the Warriors from the bench after recently signing a new two-year deal with the club, while Lee Jones and James Eddie are also named among the replacements, after featuring for Scotland Sevens in Hong Kong last weekend.

Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend said: “There is no doubt that our victory over the Ospreys last weekend was one of the most important of our season.

“In terms of developing momentum as we go into the final six games it was a massive victory and one which ultimately came down to the determination and effort from the players to get the job done.

“We are fully aware of the challenge Treviso will pose tomorrow and the work rate the players put in last Friday will have to be repeated if we're to get a positive result and back up last week's win.

“Geoff (Cross) has settled in really well since he joined us a couple of weeks ago and we're looking forward to seeing him in a Warriors shirt.

“We've been handed a big boost with Al (Kellock), Tim (Swinson) and Peter (Horne) all able to return tomorrow night.

“Peter has had a frustrating nine months with injury but has worked really hard and featured in a couple of club games recently so he's ready to be involved with us again.

“It's great to have continuity with three successive games at Scotstoun and the crowd last week were really vocal and got behind the team.

“We're hoping for more of the same tomorrow night to help us overcome tough and very competitive opponents.”

Meanwhile, Treviso coach Marius Goosen has made seven changes to his run-on side after last Saturday's victory against Edinburgh.

Amongst the backs, there are two changes with Andrea Pratichetti and Christian Loamanu replacing Ludovico Nitoglia and Michele Campagnaro on the right wing and at outside centre respectively.

Up front, Marco Fuser takes over from Manoa Vosawai at blindside flanker while Paul Derbyshire starts on the openside in place of Marco Filippucci.

In the second row Valerio Bernabò is preferred to Corniel van Zyl while Ignacio Fernandez-Rouyet and Matteo Muccignat are the starting props with Lorenzo Cittadini and Alberto De Marchi dropping down to the bench.

Form: This game was originally postponed on 20 December due to a waterlogged pitch. Glasgow Warriors have won their last two PRO12 games, both at home to the Scarlets and Ospreys, and have won their last three games at Scotstoun. The Warriors have been victorious in their last eight fixtures with Italian opponents. Treviso's six game losing run ended at home to Edinburgh on Saturday, they are now attempting to achieve back-to-back victories in the tournament for the first time since December 2012. The Italians have won just once away from home in the PRO12 since then: 41-17 at the Scarlets last May. Glasgow have won their last three encounters with Treviso whilst the Italians' only previous victory on Glasgow soil came at Firhill in September 2011.

The teams:

Glasgow: 15 Peter Murchie, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Mark Bennett, 12 Finn Russell, 11 Niko Matawalu, 10 Ruaridh Jackson, 9 Henry Pyrgos, 8 Ryan Wilson. 7 Tyrone Holmes, 6 Rob Harley, 5 Al Kellock (c), 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Geoff Cross, 2 Pat MacArthur, 1 Gordon Reid.
16 Kevin Bryce, 17 Jerry Yanuyanutawa, 18 Moray Low, 19 Leone Nakarawa, 20 James Eddie, 21 Peter Horne, 22 Richie Vernon, 23 Lee Jones.

Treviso: 15 Luke McLean, 14 Andrea Pratichetti, 13 Christian Loamanu, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Angelo Esposito, 10 James Ambrosini, 9 Tobias Botes, 8 Robert Barbieri, 7 Paul Derbyshire, 6 Marco Fuser, 5 Valerio Bernabò, 4 Antonio Pavanello (c), 3 Ignacio Fernandez-Rouyet, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Matteo Muccignat.
Replacements: 16 Giovanni Maistri, 17 Alberto De Marchi, 18 Lorenzo Cittadini, 19 Corniel Van Zyl, 20 Marco Filippucci, 21 Fabio Semenzato, 22 Alberto Di Bernardo, 23 Brendan Williams.

Date: Friday, April 4
Venue: Scotstoun Stadium
Kick-off: 19:35 GMT
Referee: Guiseppe Vivarini (Italy)
Assistant referees: James Matthew (Scotland), Bob Nevins (Scotland)
Citing Commissioner: John Kirk (Scotland)